APPRECIATE: to understand the worth or importance of; to admire and value
Today is Teacher Appreciation Day. Have you thanked your teacher yet?
I’ve been anticipating Teacher Appreciation Day for a while and wanted to make sure I got a note to you. I’ve sat down to write you a thank you letter more than once in the past week. But, I’ve struggled. I’ve started several drafts that I never finished. The struggle has nothing to do with a lack of appreciation. I have appreciation in spades.
The struggle comes from the difficulty of articulating what exactly I want to thank you for. I’ve made lists of things my son has learned in the past two years, but that doesn’t really capture what I appreciate most.
This is the nature of teaching, I suppose: the inability to capture what it is you do in bullet points or on a bubble test.
Sure, I am grateful that I brought a kid to you who couldn’t read and now have a kid who can. And yes, I’m glad he knows the properties of wood and has had the opportunity to explore physics with balls and ramps. Though, I regret that he now knows how to read a clock and knows when I’m lying about it being bedtime and I am disappointed he can tell when I borrow latte money from his allowance stash. But, overall, the academic gains he has made in your class have been positive.
However, my appreciation and gratitude aren’t necessarily related to what you teach. For me it isn’t about the what but about the how and the who.
I appreciate that your classroom is safe place to take risks.
I appreciate that your classroom is a place where kindness and consideration are modeled.
I appreciate that your classroom is a place where consequences and compassion are taught.
I appreciate that your classroom is a place where joy and levity are sprinkled throughout the day.
I appreciate that your classroom is a place where perfection is not a prerequisite to participation.
Mostly, I appreciate that you come to work every day to teach eager minds, guide fidgety hands, soothe tender hearts and protect precious lives.
I’m grateful that my son spends six hours a day in your presence.